LONDON, ON – The ThunderBolts scored 11 runs on 15 hits but lost a wild game to the London Rippers, 13-11 at Labatt Park Thursday night.
The Bolts scored first in the first inning. Chad Cregar’s sacrifice fly scored Bob Glover, who had been hit by a pitch.
London, though, responded with four in the bottom of the first. Stephen Cardullo had a two-run single to plate the first two. They brought home another on an error and Jim Vahalik’s sacrifice fly brought home the final run of the first.
The ThunderBolts chipped away with two in the third. C.J. Gillman singled and Chris Wade doubled him in. Wade scored on a London error.
The bottom of the third inning was the big one for London. The Rippers scored six runs on eight hits. David Christensen started things with a home run and that was followed by seven more hits in a row. There were five singles and two doubles in the onslaught as London opened up a 10-3 lead.
Not to be deterred, the Bolts’ offense continued their success in the top of the fifth. Bryan Burke and Mike Torres each singled to start out and Wade reached on a fielder’s choice in which no out was recorded. Chad Cregar’s base hit scored the first run of the frame and Jareck West singled home another. Wade scored on a Brandon Decker fielder’s choice and Zach Aakhus’s base hit brought in Cregar to make it 10-7. They weren’t done as T.J. McManus walked and Gillman doubled to score Aakhus, concluding the scoring at six in the inning and making it a 10-9 game.
The Rippers hit three doubles in the sixth and scored three more runs. RBIs came from Vahalik, Clifton Thomas and Matt Wright, who had three doubles and four RBIs in the game.
Windy City had one more run in them. In the seventh, Aakhus singled and Gilman knocked him in. Later, with the bases loaded and two outs, Cregar was hit by a pitch to score Gilman from third, but the Bolts would get no more as Matt Sommo came out of the bullpen to record the final seven outs.
Chris Kaminski (1-0) picked up the win in relief and Stephen Sauer (4-2) lasted just 2.1 innings in the loss. It was Sommo’s first save.
The rubber match at Labatt Park will be played on Friday night. Dustin Williams (5-2, 3.96) will start the game for Windy City against London’s Matt Schimpf (2-2, 2.93). The game begins at 6:00 p.m. CDT and the broadcast can be heard on sportsjuice.com.